Inside Sales Tools: A Backstage Miracle
Today businesses have become more technology driven and the most important development is the shift to “Inside Sales”. Inside sales are sales conducted over the phone or through the internet, rather than the traditional face-to-face model.
The most recent Inside Sales Market Size Study, conducted by InsideSales.com, revealed that inside sales is growing 7.5%, compared to field sales at only 0.5%. In addition, more than half of B2B sales reps (53%) sell remotely.
Inside sales can be the key to your company’s success, but adapting to this new paradigm presents a host of challenges as well. So how do you get your sales team ready for this technology-driven and fast paced sales method? The answer is to empower your sales team with comprehensive inside sales tools which will enhance organizations productivity and sales.
Inside sales tools are effective and authentic, period. They help any organization to reduce its overall “sales time cycle” so that more revenue can be generated.
Here I’ll take you through the points where you’ll get to know the “Inside Sales Process” in a complete manner and how these tools are useful in each step.
Let us take a quick glance.
1. Identifying Your Leads / Prospects
“Finding appropriate and optimum leads” is the burning issue for any sales person. The term “Hit-ratio” i.e. targeting leads in the perfect manner is the most important factor while finding the leads. Here are the most sought after tools to look at.
- LinkedIn: Provides authentic leads and prospect connection through its large set of data.
- Kitedesk: With the use of Kitedesk, you can prospect effectively as it has millions of sales leads with their premium data i.e. emails, phones, etc. Also, with the efficient facility of Turbocharged lead generation, you can find your prospects across social networks, search engines, etc.
- Rapportive: Is a free add-on (Gmail plug-in) that shows everything about the contacts. The list includes an email address, work profile, company details and lets you connect you with LinkedIn without leaving your inbox. Moreover, it also gives the facility of mutual connection, which helps the sales team to arrange a meeting with their prospect at a nearby place.
- Streak.com: It’s a CRM inside Gmail with a powerful email features. The CRM feature can help teams in sales, product development, deal flow, fundraising etc. Moreover, it also gives the feature of mail merge and email tracking.
2. Contacting Leads
After finding your leads/prospects, you need to contact them in the right manner so as to develop healthy relations for further business. Here are some tools that will help you simplify this process.
- Through Gmail and not just Email: This will seem a little usual to you, but in a real sense it is a big catch regarding contacting the leads. From a personal perspective, organization’s ratio of contacting good leads has increased tremendously by connecting Gmail with add-on plugins available. For example, if you have a plugin for email tracking, they will help you not only in tracking your emails but also gives facilities like one-click live meetings, document tracking, and sharing, etc. right inside from your Gmail inbox. Moreover, these tools will help you in analyzing prospect’s activity & take a right move at a right time.
- Social Networks: Social Media Networks gives the widest reach in discovering new horizons for prospecting & contacting leads via social messengers. Twitter (Direct Message), Facebook (Messenger) and LinkedIn (Inmails) are few the most effective platforms to initiate sales conversation.
- Old is Gold (Telephone apps): Cold calling is still the “numero uno” method for contacting leads. With the evolution of technology, even telephones have begun to evolve with tools / apps like Ringio, Knowlariy, My operator etc. which helps the sales team to make and receive calls from the tool / software itself. It provides them with real time analytics and many automation.
3. Managing Leads
Any sales team must know how to manage a “Known Commodity” because without this their productivity cannot grow. Here are few tools which can help:
- Salesforce: Unless your company is already built around Salesforce, this might be the “best” choice. It provides the best CRM solution available with the #1 business app marketplace (Appexchange).
- Pipe-drive: It is built for salespeople who need to put in serious effort to turn leads into sales. It helps you to organize the work and spend less time on admin.
Sales force and pipedrive provides comprehensive CRM solutions at a high price. Thus, start-ups and SME’s cannot afford these softwares easily.
To be very frank most of the features of these giants are not needed for SME’s. So the best option is to use tools like SalesHandy which has basic CRM module with data analytics & communications tools like prospects behavior tracking & live presentations. And when you grow big just use integrations to connect your Saleshandy account with Salesforce. It will reduce your efforts and keep your workflow maintained.
4. From nurturing a lead to Closing
Our sales cycle is fairly long, so these tools are extremely important. I would try to make a list of the apps that do well in all the stages of nurturing a lead & closing a deal.
To Track Prospect activities:
- RocketBolt.com: With features such as real-time activity feed, email management, importing leads/contacts, nurturing a prospect becomes easy with RocketBolt.com.
- Docsend: Allows the user to know who views his/her documents and to whom they forward it to. Also with analytic technology, the user can see how the documents are viewed and jot down the time spend on each page.
- Join.me: Great for giving demos remotely. You can share your screen, easily set-up video conference for the presenter, etc. On hindsight video conference on the receiver end is tough, but if it was too hard, this tool wouldn’t have featured on the list.
- AppDemoStore: It provides better interactive presentations, helps in designing smarter ppt’s with clickable prototypes.
So basically, you use one application to track emails another to track document activity and finally use third application for the demo. For demos a sales person needs video conferencing, screen sharing facility, Live presentations etc. This can prove to be a tedious task. Moreover, the data remains scattered in all these different applications which is hard to manage and to make sense out of it. Saleshandy provides the sales team with all features in a more organized manner at one place. The moreover task of managing synchronization during a sales cycle can be simplified by using it.
For years, sales have been the tedious and time demanding process. Thus to overcome this and to evolve with the growing technology, inside sales tools are important. They give any sales team the luxury of find better prospects and maintain them. Thus, rate of closing deals increases with their use. Moreover being user-friendly and utterly simple, these tools are playing a major role in increasing the productivity, expanding business horizons and building new empires from bootstrapped companies.